Netjeru in the Natural World.

I think one of the things that I always felt completely confused about having religion was how the hell it was supposed to mesh with my mundane life. I know people who are all, “praise be,” and down with God like 75% of the time. And that is really aspiring (sometimes) and I often wondered, when I first got started, how I could be like that even with my own religious persuasion.

But I had to admit, even way back then, that the process on how to get down and dirty, feeling as if my gods were a part of every aspect of my life and not just shoved into a particular niche, well that shit is fucking hard. And as I am often complaining about, no one thought that writing a manual on how to modernize a dead religion that you are attempting to recreate would be a good idea. So, I often found the whole experience that my friends and family members have remarked – making it clear, to me, in their terms that they were down with their deity of choice quite often – bewildering (mystically bewildering, even).

Over the years, I’ve stopped caring whether or not my religion was a niche aspect to my life. It mostly is. I don’t talk about it much with people outside of my community for a lot of reasons. (Most people don’t understand; some people are worried about what I’m doing and possibly believe I am consorting with “devils;” I realize that discussing some minute aspect of one of the netjeru with people outside of my community isn’t scintillating conversation with my significant other; etc.) I figure it would happen or it wouldn’t and I would share it, or I wouldn’t.

It occurred to me, though, that perhaps I have done this and I just didn’t realize it.

So, about a year and a half ago, I started seeing Geb in this field that I was driving by twice a day to get to and from work. I no longer drive by that particular field so regularly, but I think that’s when it really started. I was able to not just associate Geb with that particular field and the geese that were so often doing geese things on that field, but it opened my horizons to new and innovative ways to see the netjeru in the natural world around me.

Prior to this, for whatever reason, associating the netjeru within the natural world was a foreign concept. Sure, it’s fine and dandy to do so when you think they may be sending you a message with a particular bird species you don’t see often, but it didn’t really occur to me that doing this throughout the natural world was a good thing. Or even possible. Or something that should be considered. Yeah, I got it when I read that post by Dver about associating gods with local flora and fauna, but I still didn’t really get it I don’t think.

Maybe the thing I had issues with when it came to Dver’s post was that I was trying to force the relationship associations. I looked for particular things I might see locally and figured that was probably a good association as any. But the thing was that I neglected to actually look for things that I would see regularly. Or maybe I just didn’t see local fauna often enough to make the connection. This is, by and large, quite probable since I live in a very urban area where things like fauna are either mistaken as scenery, hidden very well, or just not see in the light of day.

However, when I took the job that I work now, the trip down to a more rural area made it more likely for me to see fauna that could be associated with various netjeru. A glaring example, of course, being the baseball field that I would drive by and the Canadian geese who take it over once the whether starts warming up again. It became easy for me to see Geb in that and feel his presence whenever I would drive by. (Seriously, note to self: drive by and see how things are going.)

The connection I didn’t start to realize until later was how this particular relationship would flavor other relationships that I would develop.

On that longer drive when I would go by Geb’s field, I would look for other animals that I wouldn’t necessarily see living in a big city. One day, I saw turkeys waddling around in the field by the local prison. I don’t know what it was about these wild creatures that made me start to think of Mut, but there you have it. I began to associate that little family of turkeys (there were usually three but later, they were joined by two more) with Mut.

That’s weird, though, right? She was associated with vultures, which were seen as mother-like creatures in ancient Egypt. So, what the fuck was it about the turkey and the family that made me scream, “THIS IS MUT,” in my head? It was because of the first time I saw them up close and personal (and then realized I was seeing turkeys): one of them was flying across the road, directly above my car with its wings outstretched. It looked beautiful and majestic and it reminded me of the iconography of ancient Egyptian vultures with their wings outstretched in a protective embrace.

As that shadow passed over my car that day, it was solidified for me: turkeys = Mut.

I kept looking around for things that I wouldn’t necessarily associate with any particular deity that I worked with, per se, but for wildlife that I found majestic and beautiful. I found it when I began seeing hawks and/or falcons all over the fucking place. I suppose that road that I used to drive down is a prime place for them because I saw them often. There they would be, floating on the wind currents while they searched beneath them for something to snack upon. Or there they would be, sitting on the light posts as I drove beneath them.

These hawks and/or falcons (I’m sorry but I don’t know what they are except that they have the tearing beak thing and they’re big but that’s all I know) made it easy for me to find parallels with other deities: Khonsu, Heru, Re, Montu, and the like. There are a whole swathe of ancient Egyptian deities depicted with hawk heads and it was easy to see them, depending on the circumstances from which I was seeing them, as any of those deities. I tended to associate the ones from that road with Khonsu in his hawk-headed aspect because of the turkeys I also saw on that road.

The eight hawks I saw the other day, on a different road, were all of the hawk-headed deities to me. The loner hawk deity who I saw the other day, on a completely different road as well, was Heru-Wer because his birthday was coming up (his birthday, according to my calendar, is today). I began almost having fun with it – what deity could I possibly see today?

This morning, I saw Wenut in the world around me.

Across the street, there is a small rabbit that has made its home out of the bushes my neighbors have across their front yard. This morning, the rabbit was sitting up straight in a small patch of grass, looking around as it munched on whatever it was that it had found. And as I watched that rabbit for a good fifteen minutes, snacking away, there was nothing else for me but to associate that tiny little bun-bun with the long-ear Wenut, the swift one. And I watched for a few minutes more until it paid credence to that interpretation of Wenut’s name as it took off across the driveway and beneath the fence that separates one neighbor’s yard from another.

This may be unorthodox and it may not necessarily mean that I actively find the netjeru everywhere. I still can’t find a single way to associate them, other than through the ma’at I conduct within myself, at work or in other places. But I think it’s enough. I think it’s a good way to find religion in the world around you even if only for a moment.

Home, Hearth, and Hetharu.

One of those things you find me talking about often enough is how very, very layered and diverse the gods can be. Too often, we’ll find a website or someone who thinks they know everything they could know about a god’s particular aspect – dark and danger, flighty and pink, motherly and sweet, whore – and that will be the end of it. Now, I don’t talk about this so often because I think my way is the only way (usually), but because too often I get all het up when I see people pigeon-holin’ gods into tiny boxes that just don’t work. So, you’d think that, considering this content and how often I bitch about it, that I’m not guilty of this. But, that’s not true. I’ve found myself guilty of it frequently. The difference is that I strive to get out of that mindset.

Thing is, I don’t always succeed.

When Hetharu came into my life, I thought of her as a kind of sacred whore. (She was intrigued by the title when I came up with it.) She came into my life with the express purpose of helping me work on the sex stuff, although now years later, I wonder what exactly her helping is in that regard. But, neither here nor there, I had a very difficult time when I started seeing her cropping up all over the place and heard, specifically, from Sekhmet that I had to get my ass in gear and work with her sister-self. And the face I made when I first made this intense and surprising discovery was something you should never hope to see on my face. It pretty much means that death is coming to you. The only word that even remotely comes close to describing it would be “thunderous” but I’ve also heard “bitchy” now and again. You can ask the Sister if you don’t believe me. I was not happy when the sacred whore showed up in my life.

I did my research because, as much as I may not be happy about it, I’m not going to just go with my first gut on who a particular god is. There are a lot of different nuances in the ancient Egyptian pantheon that you may not be able to pin your finger on unless you immerse yourself in the mythologies and the descriptors, in the imagery and the professional opinions. I saw that she was a grand dame and that she held dominion over motherhood, the home, as well as the feminine body parts. I also saw that she was related to stars, to beauty. She was the patron goddess of dancers and the sistrum is an item often associated with her cult. Suffice to say that to call this particular goddess’s associations as “varied” is a complete understatement. In earlier times, her cult center usurped and added to its repertoire by overshadowing minor goddesses. Of course, in turn, she ended up going this way via Aset, but prior to that, she had all her fingers in a ton of different pies.

But, my head kept getting stuck on the sacred whore paradigm I was focusing on her. It mainly had to do with one of her epithets, Mistress of the Vulva, but also because I was sorely against working on any of the sex stuff. Yes, I have issues. Yes, I know I need to fix those issues. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be willing and capable of working on it. One thing that those epithets and myths do not tell you about Hetharu is that she is pretty fucking patient when she wants to be.

I guess we could say that the motherhood thing has some merit in fact.

Recently, I decided that while I enjoy her place on my altar and that, one day when I have a home large enough for such a thing, her relegation will be to a place on my home and hearth altar, but that’s effectively it. I don’t feel connected to her. I never really did. But then again, if I really get down to it, I associate my connections on the same level I have with Sekhmet. The level I have with her… is mind-blowing. If there was a way to describe how I feel about my primary goddess, then I have yet to find that word. I’ve looked to others’ relationships with godspousery and all of that… and sometimes, I think how I feel about Sekhmet is akin to what they have going on, but it’s so much more than that and not the same. We’re not married and we’re not going to be. Let’s just face it, I cannot describe how I work with Sekhmet, what I feel about Sekhmet, and all of that. I can only say that it is deep and it is everlasting. And I tend to look at relationships I have with other gods in relation to her and they all fail to come close.

Anyway, with that in the background, I kind of decided that while I enjoy her sphere of influences (baking, in my household) she pretty much was taking the furthest backseat ever. It wasn’t that I don’t want to work on the sex stuff, but I have other avenues that I have to work on first before I can even come into that mode of thought. And so, with my basic background still the sacred whore mindset, I began thinking about her today as I ate dinner. Now, let me just say this: I can bake like nobody’s business and will have a thermonuclear meltdown if what I’m baking turns out badly, but I pretty much can’t cook. I’ll let you in on a bigger secret: I can actually cook, and fine, but I prefer not to because I’m a lazy motherfucker.

I’ve been saying I can’t cook for so long that people actually believe it now. And I get irritated, now, as I step into a more full motherly role and house providing role that I forget that I really can cook. I’m used to saying that I can’t. I’m used to hearing that I can’t. And if you hear it and say it often enough, then it must be true correct? Wrong. I can actually cook. I may have to work on certain recipes and I may have to try my hand at something a time or two, but I can usually get it after only my second try. And as I was eating the delicious dinner I made tonight, I realized that Hetharu’s sphere of influence is a good deal larger than I had ever given her credit.

Sacred whore. That’s what I thought.

Mother, home, hearth. These are the areas that I forget and yet, she has more dominion here, in my life, than I realize. I’m still too busy pigeon-holding my own fucking gods to get my head out of my ass to realize where they actually end up influencing me. And I guess, I guess as I sat there eating dinner, I needed to come to that realization.

Sekhmet II: History, Possible History, and Now. (PBP).

Note: I have been hinting at this entry for months now and I can only say that I seriously hope I do not disappoint. On another note, I would like to mention that most, if not all, of what I write here are based entirely upon my own UPG (unverified personal gnosis) and so, I don’t want anyone to take this as fact to be used in their processes with this or other gods. This is for me, myself, and I but to be shared in a public setting.

As a child, I was pretty fascinated with mythology. I would pull the books out of my library on a fairly regular basis. I read the Greek book they had in the children’s section to near tatters. (Not for lack of care, but just how often I had it in my hands.) In reality, the children’s section didn’t have much in the way of mythological information about past faiths, but I will admit that I was horrifically and enchantingly obsessed with the idea of multiple gods. And by that, I mean that I would sit back after reading a section or the book, cover to cover, only to wonder what it would have been like to worship other gods. While I ended up taking out the Greek and Roman books the most often, this was because it wasn’t until later that I was able to find anything on the ancient Egyptian pantheon. Sure, I had heard it talked about in passing – I believe my teacher felt that the pantheon was too confusing to go into more detail than a basic rendition of the Osiris and Isis myth – but there wasn’t much information about it. This didn’t stop me from wanting to know ALL THE CULTURES and learn about them.

I was still fairly young when I was able to find the first book that I read about ancient Egyptian myth. It was another rendition of the Osiris and Isis myth, based off of the myths of the Greco-Roman era. But it wasn’t enough. I don’t know how I stumbled onto Sekhmet – I just don’t have clear childhood memories anymore – but I remember I was still younger than ten when I first found her. Hell, the timing is probably more along the lines of in relation to when my father died when I was seven and that’s probably why I don’t remember it. But, I remember being fascinated by what I felt was a “first vampire” of sorts, a myth that all other vampiric myths would be based on in future. The myth was child-sized, but since I was a horror buff, I was able to look up things that most kids my age would have shied away from. (THANKS MOM FOR LETTING ME READ AND RESEARCH WHATEVER I WANTED.) I got the less childlike simplicity of her drunken debauchery and the whole shebang with the End of the World, blood drinking, and the red beer that was used to stop her.

I fell out of favor with my mythology obsession, but it wasn’t because I stopped caring. It was mostly because of the reading comprehension and my reading ability. As I’ve mentioned, by the age of nine, I was reading Stephen King to do book reports on (and being called a liar when I turned the papers in). It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn all that I could about myths and whatnot, but that the books I had easy access to were either too below my reading level or too above my reading level. Child-based mythology books are all well and good for a basic appetite wetting, but they don’t exactly mean that the next one you pick up is Plutarch. And even back then, I had a severe hatred for classic literature. So, while I do believe I did try my hand at Plutarch a time or two, it never felt right, it never read right, and I got bored too quickly. So, back burner for that obsession, but Sekhmet stayed with me in little ways.

For example, as I’ve said in some older posts, I would do searches of things and end up on pages associated with her. (This was also back before the invention of Wikipedia, so some of the pages I would end up on had black background with red font and sparkling pentacles in the corners. Ugh.) This was true even as a youth, but I never paid attention to it. This coincidence continued throughout high school and my general flirtation with the idea of magic and Wicca. (I didn’t know it was called that then and my basic flirtation with it ended with it being just a flirtation.) This coincidence continued in more force when I was working the overnight shifts at the front desk in Texas, back when I first started hearing about Wicca and paganism, at large. (It’s amusing that as someone who has had an Internet presence since I was very young, back when it was AOL or nothing, it was only as a twenty-something that I heard about paganism and from my twenty-plus-years older friend!) Just because these things kept happening didn’t mean that I paid attention to it.

I mean, obviously, I was researching the same things over and over again to get to where Sekhmet would come up. Right?

As the years past and I began to explore paganism more fully, I was always called toward Sekhmet. I remember clearly stating that I had a thing for her to the EM and the Sister. And that, barring that, the only real deity I wanted to get to know, at all, was Kali Ma. (I suppose I just had a thing for ‘destructive’ deities.) Since I was working in a frame work of Wicca, it was considered a bad idea to go down that route, as I’ve said. I think the Wiccan frame work is what stoppered the whole flow, but I can’t be positive. I do know that both the EM and the Sister, with their fear and warnings, didn’t help in that regard. I can clearly recall, though, in those early years that I had a distinctive belief that all gods were their own entities and none of the archetypal stuff that can commonly be found in a Wiccan context. I think that was the basic muck up in the process – the EM, who had been doing all of this stuff longer than both myself and the Sister, felt that archetypal goddesses of destruction were not a good idea because it was obvious (to her) that I would embody that those destructive qualities and, you know, ruin.

It’s only years later, in the now, that I realized just how totally stupid that whole idea is. As I’ve mentioned a thousand and one times in so many different entries, all the gods have layers. I’ve regaled people with the Sekhmet as destroyer, as healer, as fount of justice, and I’ve begun learning of her as the giver of life. (More in a sec.) If I had done proper research into Kali Ma, as I have in passing now and again just because, I would have figured all of this out sooner. But, I was cowed by people older and wiser.

I think that’s when Sekhmet started getting really angry about the whole muleheadedness. I’m not saying that it is because of my goddess that the EM went bat-shit or anything. The girl had problems, but there are days where I idly wonder if Sekhmet had a hand in the spectacular downfall that were our relationships…

When I first began working with Sekhmet, I tended to liken the relationship with me bashing my head against a wall. She was very firm and determined to get me from point A to point H. I think some of the more rapid work in those early months was designed to get me to where I am now after so many years of ignoring her. And yes, I will admit that I often wonder how far I would be on this path or where I would be on this path if I had just listened to my gut in the first place. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve only been working with her as my Lady for three years. I began in 2009. However, I had been having the urge to do so since 2006 or thereabouts. It really makes me wonder how much more work I could have gotten in the three years between my determined commitment and my dreamed-of commitment. I’ll never know, but it does make me wonder about other things…

Over the years, I’ve chafed at her very tight rein. This isn’t because I don’t appreciate who she is or why she is doing what she is doing, but because I’m naturally inclined to do the exact opposite of what people desire. This is no different in regards to my gods. I am quite contrary. And while I know this irritates her, I think there is some pride there as well. It means that while I am willing and able to listen to direction and follow those directions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I do it with a snappy salute. Sometimes, maybe, I have to realize that the direction being given isn’t because I have to be just this way but for my own good. However, Sekhmet let’s me make those mistakes (of which I’ve made many, many, many) and she is always, always there to help me pick up the pieces.

The only time this has not happened was in an incident with my ex-husband and that is because, well, one day, I’ll get to that.

You know, I can remember a time when I couldn’t hear her. I believe this was actually after she had introduced me to her sister-self, Hetharu. I was supposed to be working with Hetharu, but the H’s methods didn’t jive with the amount of trauma I had going on. Whilst I understood the need for her in my life and I still do, I didn’t want the shadow work to go along with it. (GEE. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY HEKATE IS AROUND.) During that time, I turned away from Hetharu only to lose Sekhmet in the deal. And I can clearly remember crying hysterically, like a child who has lost the only toy that will put them to sleep or make their worlds worth living, and wondering why she had left me. Someone told me that, perhaps, the lesson with Sekhmet was over. And I can also remember that she came roaring back (briefly) to assure me, very intently, that my lessons with her would never be over. And that I was stuck with her for life.

This was around the time when I began wondering how long that life was.

You see, I’ve often wondered why I have such a close affinity for her, even as a child. It seems a little weird, right, considering the context I would have learned about her when I was young. She was a destroyer. And for years, I tended to believe that I was like her in that way – I was a Leo, to boot, so you know. But, after a long time, I’ve come to believe very strongly that in this life, she was there when Khnum was molding me for my eventual delivery into this world. I also wonder if it was more in line with her directions that everything happened the way it happened as my conception. You see, in ancient Egyptian belief, there were three goddesses that made the whole baby-making process happen. There was Heqet, who was responsible for the initial conception. Then there was Renenutet who was responsible for the growth of the baby. And then Meskhenet who was responsible for the birth, itself. And while I have little doubt that they probably played a part in it, I think it was more in line with Sekhmet, giver of life, and her desires that all of this came about as it did.

And this, actually, kind of correlates with the past life soul retrieval Dee did for me months ago. In that soul palace was Sekhmet. There was also Heru and Sutekh in that soul palace, but she was there, as well. And I’d like to think that her statue, maybe, was a little bigger than the other two. Not just because she was more important but because she is more important now.

I’ve said a time or two that this is the Time of Sekhmet. Originally, I meant this to mean that it was at her direction that I was following my cues. For example, it was her gentle push that made me ask my friend for an oracle reading with Hekate and at her nudge what I specifically asked. It kind of felt like, well, you aren’t willing to do with the sex shadow work you need to do, so why don’t you work with that crossroad goddess to work out the other stuff first and come back to Hetharu when you are ready? And that’s where I am, right now. I’m working with one goddess because the Main Goddess told me it was in my best interest to do so.

Thing is that while I talk about this particular moment in my life as a Time of Sekhmet… what I’ve really come to realize that my entire life is a Time of Sekhmet. And we have many, many years to see just where this goes.

Sekhmet (PBP).

As a devotee to Sekhmet, I’ve found that one of the hardest parts about wanting to learn as much as I can about my deity is finding the information necessary to learn about her. Too often, I stumble on websites and books that tend to lump her into a category of “Eye of Re” deities. And while this is a component part to who she is as a goddess, it’s only a single layer in the numerous layers that make her up as a god. Another common problem is the fact that she tends to be assimilated into the culture of other goddesses. Too often, I find her as an aspect of Hetharu, Bast, or Mut. (There are other aspects and mash-ups that I’ve seen but those are the most common.) And lastly, another problem I tend to find is that she tends to become a smaller portion to the triad she belongs to (as Ptah-Sekhmet-Nefertem of Memphis/Inebou-Hedjou).

So, finding information about Sekhmet on the Internet can be difficult. Websites proliferate and are rife with information, but how much can be attested to via a historical source? There are few treatises that are not in foreign languages (French and German being the lingua fraças of early Egyptology) that we can look to with clear-cut results. My largest issue with this is the fact that she doesn’t seem to deserve her own “street cred,” even with the Destruction of Mankind myth under her belt, so to speak. This bothers me because (A) as a hard polytheist, I view her as her own deity and (B) because as a devotee of her, I don’t really care how her counterparts and mash-ups were viewed by ancients or even today’s worshipers. I want to know about her.

I think part of the reason finding information about her is so difficult because she is constantly surrounded by goddesses that are larger than life or who proliferated more fully in the later dynasties of ancient Egypt. As I mentioned, more often than not, we see her name linked to Mut, Hetharu, and Bast. I have called this act of syncretism as “sister-selves.” To me, this means that they are separate beings but that they can dress up in one another’s clothes, dawn appropriate accents, and generally pass as one another if the need arises. As a quick lesson: in ancient Egypt, it was pretty well-known that the imagery we would deem as portraits of the gods was only for the human benefit. It was made quite clear that in their natural forms, we had no idea what the gods looked like and that if they so desired, they could take any form they so chose. So, in doing thus, each goddess could become the other if it was warranted. (Although, one has to wonder if this ever ended up with childish games of pretending to be one another to other gods and to followers…)

In her syncretism with Hetharu, the most common form, it is understandable. In the Book of the Celestial Cow, it is shown that when Re tired of humanity, he first sent Hetharu to remove the human threat before allowing Sekhmet a chance to be his agent on earth. (And, boy, was she.) In the case of Bast and Sekhmet being paired together, it tends to be in the arena of two warriors goddesses unifying together. There are some comments about this. In some instances, scholars tend to believe that Sekhmet came from the south and so, she was a protector of Upper Egypt while Bast held dominion over Lower Egypt. Or, on the other hand, we can see both of these leonine goddesses as protectors of Lower Egypt who became conflated together around the Middle Kingdom or so. In either case, the end result appears to be the same: two warriors becoming unified in a single composite deity. In regards to the syncretism with Mut, there doesn’t appear to be a concrete path that can easily inform as to why the two of them were mixed together. It’s possible it merely stems from the two of them being Eyes of Re, but this seems too easy. Sekhmet isn’t always paired with other Eyes. So, I think the mixture between the two stems from the two goddesses being some of the older goddesses in existence. And in keeping around one (Mut, who became a very popular goddess in her own right), we continue to feel the presence of the other.

One thing I tend to fight against, repeatedly, when doing the research and going through what I can about Sekhmet is the constant belief that she is nothing but a blood-thirsty goddess. In Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch, she tends to paint the picture of a goddess who is only out to destroy and drink the blood of her children. While yes, this was a component part to the mythology surrounded by main goddess, this isn’t the entirety of who she is or even who she was. In The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson, she is represented with more of a rounded component picture: he mentions more prominently than Ms Pinch that Sekhmet also had a hand in healing and protection against pestilence. There’s also minor mention of her mix with other goddesses (one of whom I forgot to mention above being Pakhet).

On the opposite scale of these issues when researching my main goddess, I tend to find whole websites littered with commentary about her being a “mother goddess.” I think this tends to more be a miscommunication between the representation of Sekhmet-Mut and Mut herself. I’ve commented before about Mut herself, so I won’t rehash old news. But the thing is that when the two were combined to form a composite deity, it appeared that the ancient Egyptians were more about giving Mut a protective side than about giving Sekhmet a kinder side. The protection of a mother, especially a major mother goddess like Mut, would have been best linked with a warrior goddess, such as Sekhmet.

Aside from her blood thirst and her ability to bring pestilence, and besides the fact that she could heal, Sekhmet also stood for justice. In the New Kingdom she usurped Sutekh’s role of standing in the solar barque to protect Re against his enemies each night. And the ancient Egyptian pharaohs harped on her as a protective goddess, as well, especially when it comes to war outside of their country. (Let’s not forget that the ancient Egyptians felt that isfet was almost analogous with foreigners, part and parcel to Sutekh’s later demonization.)

I’ve often said it and I’ll repeat myself again, when it comes to working with gods and goddesses that have a “darker” aspect to their mythos, it’s best if we try to crack through the layers and layers of mythological propaganda. I’m not saying this because I want people to constantly stick their nose in a book – although that would be awesome – but because I think it’s very important to remember that with each new cycle of a dynasty, a god or goddess of ancient Egypt could change. They could be usurped into a larger figure or they could be mixed with others. This is never more commonly prevalent than in watching the mythology and belief surrounding Sutekh carry from a chaotic deity who slays Apep nightly to the devil version we can see as quite popular in Greco-Roman times.

Each god has layers and it’s our job, as their followers, to peel back those layers to know, truly, who it is we are devoted to.

Mut (PBP).

Note: For those waiting on my next hilarious romp in Kemetism: World’s Greatest Religion!, it will post this afternoon.

The goddess, Mut, is only a very recent addition to my goddess repertoire. She’s the most recent goddess to reveal that she is in my life. (I do not consider Hekate in this sense since it I who approached her where as with Mut, she very definitely approached me. The link to that entry is below.) I’ve always had a brief love affair with Mut in a fictional way. When Michelle Moran came out with her critically acclaimed historical fiction novel, Nefertiti, she made the goddess Mut a fairly important part of the story as a whole. Since the book is written from the perspective of the theorized sister of Nefertiti, Mutnodjomet, this is part and parcel to why the goddess has a higher place in the novel than say, Sekhmet. And even though the novel, itself, is a fictionalized accounting of what may have happened to Nefertiti and her theorized sister, the aspects of Mut in the book – the pictures, the prayers, the offerings, etc. – always kind of stuck with me. So, when Mut showed up in dream form, I really wasn’t all that surprised. I’d been kind of waiting for it since I had been mentally flirting with her for, you know, however long it’s been since that book has come out. (And I read it about five times a year. I’m not even lying.)

When I first dreamed about Mut, I saw her as a wooden statue that I held in my hand. She had Photobucket the head of a cat but the body was like a single piece. There were distinctive markings to signify her arms and her hands. There were also vague markings for breasts on the piece in question. The rest of the body, however, was like a peg: no legs, but a singular piece. I couldn’t quite figure out what this part of the dream was trying to tell me. Why was she like a piece of the Jackals and Hounds board game? Why was she made of wood when the rest of the goddesses in the dreams were made of gilt? It was mysterious and as I don’t dream of gods on a regular basis, something I pondered a lot. It was Cam who ventured the guess that because she is such an older goddess – primordial, even – that signified the aged look for the wooden representation in my hands. And something clicked.

Mut is one of the oldest goddesses. When looking into her, the word that signifies her name – spelled mwt – has two meanings. On the one hand, when you look at the glyphs for her name, you Photobucket see her as the vulture. To the ancient Egyptians, the vultures were very motherly, which ties into the second aspect of the meaning behind her name. (The ancient Egyptians thought all vultures were females because there are no distinctive markings to differentiate between male and female.) The other meaning of her name is, specifically, mother. (When I pronounce her name as “mother” I change up the pronunciation from Moot to mm-ow-at.) And it is this particular aspect that we see that hearkens back to the Ogdoad of Hermopolis/Khmun, for it was the original consort of Amun that Mut seems to have usurped around the Middle Kingdom or so. However, the primary association of Mut seems to have begun with the female version of Nun of the Ogdoad. As Nun was the father of the gods, so his wife was the mawat (or mother) of the gods. In this association, Mut is seen as old as creation itself. Later, as Mut usurped the role of the feminine Amun (Amunet), it seemed to reinforce her ancient beginnings.

While I do try to do the research about the gods that come to me and work with me, as well as the ones that I turn to, I don’t always pay close attention when I’m first getting to know them. This is the case with Mut. So, I can spit out facts for you (which is what I had initially intended for this entry, honestly, but something keeps making it harder and harder for me to spit it out, so…), but what I would prefer to do is explore my interpretations of this most ancient of mothers in my life.

When she first came to me, it was prior to a pretty crappy time in my life. I have crappy times on a semi-regular basis since I have begun working on various aspects of myself that I find unfavorable or that are holding me back. However, it was a time when I would have instinctively turned to my mother, to cry in her arms, and wanted to feel snuggled. I don’t legitimately have that option since my mother lives on the other side of the country. My “snuggles” with my biological mother come in weekly telephone calls. It’s a piss poor filler for what I need. Even though I am twenty-nine years old, there are just some times when you need your mother. You need to feel her arms around you. You need to hear her tell you that you are not a fuck up, that you do not suck, that you make mistakes but you learn from them, etc. Again, I don’t have that option. And I think it was with the foreknowledge of all of the stuff that would end up happening sooner as opposed to later, coupled with the foreknowledge that I would begin a lot of shadow work to forgive myself, my faults, as well as the mistakes others have done to me… that’s when she came a-knocking.

She speaks to me in the connection of a mother figure… but not as one mother to another. It is as though I am her daughter and she comes to me when I need it the most. Case in point, when I was having issues with an angry Deadz. I had no idea what to do and it was with the help of my friends that I got through it. (Honest to the gods. I had no idea what to do with such an angry [dead] person affecting me so much.) But it was in the thinking of mawat and, in effect, summoning her to me that I began to feel better. It was a relief to be able to sag my shoulders, knowing that someone else was there to help me deal with it.

At first, as I was trying to write this entry hours ago, I found this part of the revelation difficult to swallow. Whenever I’ve considered my spiritual mother, I’ve thought of Sekhmet. (The S entries are coming up and my theories about her particular spot in that role will be discussed, at length, so keep being patient.) But as I sit here and think about Mut as my spiritual mother, the difficulty Photobucket passes quickly. It’s not that it isn’t a tough pill to swallow and it’s not that it doesn’t put my previous beliefs in a shambles because… well, it does. But the thing is that while I have a difficult time contending with so much syncretism in ancient Egyptian practices, this particular issue is not so difficult when it comes to Sekhmet and Mut. I’m not quite sure why: the two, to me, are polar opposites. Sekhmet is feisty and Mut is just… not. But for some reason, considering my spiritual mother in the aspect of Mut, I realize that there are just some things about Sekhmet that make it difficult for her to fulfill that role.

And Mut does not find that particular aspect hard, at all.

One of the other aspects in her mysterious entry into my life appears to have to do with an astral aspect to myself that I never thought I would ever, ever explore. I’ve never been… even remotely aware of myself on a plane of existence aside from this one. It’s not for lack of trying or desire, but I always figured that the astral self were only achieved via meditation, centering, and all of the things that I find difficult to do. Not very long after my dream about Mut, I re-entered the room from that dream. (Links below.) It was during a sort of quasi-outside of myself feel. I had to get confirmation from outside sources that I was, apparently without trying or particularly wanting to, traveling to an astral realm of some sort. Since the room from that little adventure, that I have sadly been unable to duplicate, was the same room that I entered when I dreamed of Mut, I knew that she was supposed to be a guide for me of sorts.

I’m not sure what that particular aspect to her role in my life is about, but it seems to go hand-in-hand with a lot of work that I’m doing on myself. Maybe in the work I’m doing in this realm, later, I’ll be forced to do it in an astral or spiritual realm? One is left wondering…

I’m grateful she’s entered my life, all unknown things considering. Without her, I often wonder if I’d be able to get through things. I have guides and gods that are willing to show me all the different ways I can end up, but there’s something nice and special knowing that, at least one of them, is more like a mother than anything else…

Relevant Posts

  1. Dreaming Ties All Mankind Together.
  2. The Continuing Adventures of the Angry Deadz.
  3. Living the Surreal Life.
  4. Everywhere the Glint of Gold…

Image Credits
1. Jackals and Hounds piece; from Egypt Search.
2. Mut hieroglyphs; from AE Online.
3. Bust of Mut; from AE Online.

It Takes Only a Brief Moment to Restrain the Heart.

I’m a little upset with someone’s comments on a post I had created on the Pagan Forum. I merely wanted to ask how other people interacted with their netjer and how the netjeru they worshiped interacted with one another. I had mentioned that Sekhmet and Hwt-Hrw are on opposite sides of the room from one another (now) and that Sekhmet was busy making faces at Hwt-Hrw from across the room. I didn’t define why she is doing this and I didn’t say “making faces” but that she was “making fun of” Hwt-Hrw. This started a very lively debate that kind of irritated me with the initial comments of someone.

The debate rages/ed on about how it was possible that I wasn’t actually interacting with a netjer at all because it didn’t sound like something Sekhmet would do. I’m insulted on behalf of her (although she’s smirking-ly amused by all of this) and really wanted to lash out. However, I didn’t because I know that everyone has an opinion about something. However, if the person in question doesn’t worship Sekhmet as devotedly (and bitchily) as I do, then how are they to know that it isn’t Sekhmet who is making the faces at Hwt-Hrw?

I think I’m offended that my perception is “so wrong” that I could be worshiping something else in the presence of my statue.

Sekhmet has a sense of humor. It’s not something that she shows to a lot of people because that’s just not who she is. She and I are both reserved people who keep ourselves in check in the face of losing our tempers. We tend to do this with humor. I’m not saying that Sekhmet’s current behavior is entirely due to her being upset about something, but like I said, she has a sense of humor. We both tend to do little things like that to convey a whole plethora of things: amusement, enjoyment, affection, etc. That’s just… how we are.

Sekhmet is, in reality, showing Hwt-Hrw a lot of things by doing all of this. She’s showing affection and amusement in the face of the current living arrangement. (Originally, Hwt-Hrw was going to be beside my side of the bed but I decided that my primary patron deserved the space.) She’s also doing this in an effort to warm her up for me, as well. Hwt-Hrw has been incredibly austere with me in the last few days, even though she’s been very excited at having a home. It’s as though she’s waiting for me to do something or say something or give her something (I have no idea what, though) and in the mean time, she’s going to hold me at arm’s length.

Thus meaning that I am pretty much attached to Sekhmet at the hip.

Metaphorically speaking, that is.

I think another thing that bothers me about all of this is the fact that since not all of these people worship the aspects of netjer that I do, then how could they say for sure that what I’m describing isn’t a Sekhmet behavior? I mean, a lot of people that I’ve met on the Kemetic path have had Djehuty, Aset, Wesir, Wepwawet, Yinepu, and various other deities as a patron or are in connection with them. I’ve only met one other person who has worshiped Sekhmet as I do currently and she’s only just starting out! So, in reality, why couldn’t Sekhmet be doing these things?

I’ve always thought that we were created in the image of Ra. As humans are shades of gray, so are the gods we are modeled after. If we have deep feelings and sense of humor and morality and five senses and ten toes, then why don’t the gods have the same attributes?